Sunday, November 8, 2009

New West Coast Boardwalk Already Buried In Sand And Rocks

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Without much fanfare the new West Coast Boardwalk in Holetown was opened to the public recently, but that did not stop Mother Nature from "welcoming it into the fold" by way of some northerly swells which battered the west coast for several days last week burying large swaths of the concrete, steel and granite boulder structure in sand and large rocks.  As the photos above taken yesterday illustrate it is already forcing patrons to gingerly climb on top of curbs and otherwise find ways to bypass the obstructions.  We have seen this sort of thing with the South Coast Boardwalk already, so here we go again...


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First, however, let me highlight what I think are some of the positive things about the new boardwalk.  It is a fantastic place to watch our famous west coast sunsets.  Ample sitting has been provided particularly on the section between the old Holetown Chefette and Beachlands for locals and visitors alike to relax and take in those magical moments as the sun goes down in the evening.  In doing so this boardwalk has reopened for all to enjoy a huge section of our coastline which was lost to beach erosion and other impediments like seawalls and rock revetments, etc.  Even though there are no wooden slats like those on the south coast boardwalk already many people are utilizing the new concrete path for walking, jogging and otherwise getting in or staying in shape.  Theoretically, one should now be able to walk on boardwalk or sandy beach from the area around Discovery Bay Hotel in Holetown in the north clear through to Sandy Lane and Paynes Bay in the south.  Whether that is yet practical is another matter.

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For that reason some have already labeled it "the boardwalk from nowhere to nowhere."  It starts in the north near Zaccios Restaurant (formerly Cocomos), in my view destroying the little sandy beach that was already there, and continues south to the old Chefette where the paved walkway stops and the sandy beach that was there widened and lengthend.  It starts back behind the old Regent Hotel and ends in a pool of water at Beachlands.  Most of it is really a granite rock revetment which gives the whole project the look and feel of a cliff walk - something you would expect in St. Lucy on the north coast or parts of St. Philip and Christ Church in the southeast of the island.

Beachlands End 
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Sandy Beach in front old Chefette and former Regent Hotel

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I think the jury is going to be out a long time deciding whether this boardwalk is a good thing or bad thing.  It does present an ugly straight line and rocky front when viewed from the ocean with very little sandy beach gained for all the effort.  For those of us who remember the sandy beach that existed for almost the entire length of this project the question therefore is:  Where is the beach?

1 comment:

  1. Barbados TravelAdvisor • "Coastal Zone Management Unit Hailing Success Of West Coast Boardwalk" - Click here for discussion.


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